Transplanting of Roses

by Annie Woy
(Waynesboro, PA)

Hi Annelie, this is not so much a question as a comment. Last year, in late May/early June, I had the opportunity to get 5 large fully grown Knockout rose bushes for free because an elderly lady wanted them removed from her garden. The roses were in full leaf, even budding. They were very crowded, huge bushes, very tangled. In digging them out, I actually got 7 bushes because some had actually propagated themselves from buried stems. I was only able to get modest rootballs with these bushes. Packed them into the back of my pickup truck, covered them with damp carpets and drove 40 minutes home, in hot dry weather. Got them immediately into the ground and kept them well watered. Also pruned them down rather hard, removing about 2/3 of all the growth.
They wilted immediately and badly and within a week or so, began to lose leaves, turn brown. I kept watering them, following the instructions I found here on you site. I also provided as much shade as I could by rigging up frames over them, draped with old sheets that I tried to keep damp. I also mulched them heavily. The weather continued hot and sunny.

It took nearly 3 months, but don't you know...every one of them not only survived but by September I had blossoms! As soon as I saw new green growth emerging, I began to feed the bushes with a very weak solution of Miracle-Gro and manure tea. They are all thriving and blossomed right up until frost (mid-October here in Zone 6).

I just wanted to write to say THANK YOU, and also to encourage people not to give up when moving, planting, transplanting roses...they might go down to shock, but given enough moisture and mulch, there's a good chance they'll recover. If you have a chance to rescue roses, even in the heat of summer or height of the growing season, do so...give it a chance. It may pay off big time.

Hi Annie,
Congratulation for your successful rose transplanting!
As I have said before, roses have to grow below, before they will grow above.
When you dig up an established rose it will loose lots of feeder roots and will be shocked.
That always happens, but roses are tough and given the care you did for so long they will come back.
I am publishing this because your story will be helpful to others who are contemplating transplanting rose.
Thank so much for your wonderful story.
Here is a link to my page about transplanting-roses.

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